The Bill and Kit Go Fetch It Trip (Maine to Minnesota and back)-Chapter one
Friday, September 19, 2008:
Left Maine at 0900 stopping in Falmouth for some grooming and continued on by taking the Mass Pike to the NY Thruway stopping for the night at a Hampton Inn in Utica NY. Received a super good military discount of 50% off and the desk clerk set us up in a deluxe room with a large hot tub next to the king sized bed. Mileage for the day was only 396 due to the late start. Weather has been great (70’s and clear) and the traffic and road conditions have been very good.
Saturday, September 20, 2008:
Made it through NY, PA, OH and into Indiana where we stopped for the night at another Hampton Inn in Freemont. Again received a pretty decent military discount. So far the military discount has been better than AARP. In addition the various desk clerks ask questions about ones service and this guy even said “thanks for serving”. Pretty cool; a lot different than during the Viet Nam era. Another great day, weather wise, however as soon as we passed from Pennsylvania into Ohio the roads turned to crap. We did make 576 miles today.
Sunday, September 21, 2008:
Big Day for lifelong RV fans; we decided to make a pilgrimage to the National RV Museum and Hall of Fame. We wanted to see the history of our recently renewed activity and pay homage to those who have gone before us. But wait…..its closed on Sundays…..bummer! Oh well, we will catch it on the return trip. Weather good, roads good, traffic good…..until we neared Chicago. Pretty congested and everyone is going 70+ MPH, even on Sunday!? We finally escaped into Wisconsin and stopped for lunch in Madison in honor of Frank Slinger. Ate at a neat place called Erin’s Snug Irish Pub. Arrived at our destination of Maple Grove, Minn-e-so-ta in the early evening and stayed at a Holiday Inn. Discount OK but not as good as the two previous nights. Another high mileage day-592.
Note: While in Indiana we performed a mileage check of the truck since the roads were flat, there was very little traffic with no wind and there is a nifty AVG MPG readout in the dash which has proven pretty accurate. Below are the results:
Speed Duration MPG
55 MPH 10 Min. 19.4
60 MPH 10 Min. 17.7
65 MPH 10 Min. 16.4
70 MPH 10 Min. 15.6
Pretty neat, huh? I guess it is true that for large profile vehicles the frontal area wind resistance plays a huge factor in fuel economy.
Monday, September 22, 2008:
Picked up our RV. See the “Happy Campers”:
And moved to the local KOA in honor of Don Fellows. Don, I told the proprietors that I personally knew you but….no discount!? They did give us a military discount however! Man it’s great to be a veteran in this day and age!! So far the trailer is working out great and all the systems and equipment are checking out ok. We will stay here for a few days to insure there are not any warranty work needs and to visit family that live in the area. There are a bunch of huge trailers and motorhomes near us making for a David vs Goliath feeling. However we were moved up the food chain a bit by a couple traveling with their dog that pulled in with this:
Now we don’t feel so tiny!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008:
Off to Wal*Mart, Target, Rainbow Foods, and Menards to outfit “Kit’s Doll House”. We proceeded to get “way lost” when our GPS and Navigator let the map fly out the open truck window and it took a while to find our way back to the KOA. In the afternoon we visited with my dad and his friend Henrietta:
He is doing well, we had a nice visit and he loaded us up with some family stuff which I gladly took. And……on the way there…..we got lost…..AGAIN! This time the GPS and Navigation system got into a bit of an argument with the driver so it was time to upgrade. Off to Best Buy for an electronic GPS and Navigator system (Garmin Nuvi 260W). Life is good in Bill & Kit Ville again.
Sept. 28th, 2008:
Just for the record, I knew instantly, when we discovered that Grandpa Tucker had just bought a GPS the day before we arrived, that Pop would NEED one!! Actually, Mr. Gadgetfreak is having lots of fun with his new toy. And, now I can view the scenery without having to wrestle with the paper map!
At this very moment, Mr. Gadgetfreak is monitoring the big motorhome with a truck full of “toys” get hitched up to leave the campground.
We have been to visit Grandpa Tucker and Henrietta twice now, both times very enjoyable. Grandpa gave Pop a lot of family things and Henrietta shared her beautiful quilting treasures with me.
We have also visited Uncle Howard and Aunt Vi and their two sons, Dave and Mark. We also met Michael, Mark’s son who will be 9 years old on Oct. 8th. A very delightful little boy. He enjoys playing with his Legos while visiting with the old folks. The first time we were there, we were invited to dinner in the dining room at the Eagle Crest Home, where they live. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and are very happy Uncle Howard and Aunt Vi live in such a lovely place with many nice residents and activities. The second time we visited, they took us to a local restaurant for lunch which was very nice.
This is a great area; we would love to spend a couple of months here to explore. Since we just picked up the trailer, we have needed to purchase a few things to operate a mini household. Many things were brought from home but little by little, we discover things we need. A few trips to Walmart and Target have sufficed.
Today, we plan to hang out around the campground, get some laundry done and begin to pack things up. We’re heading back to the camper dealership tomorrow morning for a minor tune-up, and will then head over to Cousin Billy and Char’s place in Blaine, MN which is just north of the Twin Cities.
I’m back-guess what? We haven’t gotten lost once since Tuesday. This gadget is really cool. However what one puts in is what one gets. I entered the address for Aunt Vi and the gadget spoke with a soft female voice guiding us the proper address. However upon arrival the female voice announced that we had arrived at “Virgin Islands”. Good thing we weren’t going to visit Uncle Hugh Jass…..OK, say it out loud…..sorry.
Oh, yea…..filled the gas tank in the truck today…..$3.39 per gallon. Not bad, eh?
Stay tuned for Chapter #2 . . .
Love, Bill-Dad-Poppy and Kit-Mom-Guma (retired navigator)